Thursday, March 16, 2006

BIG DOLL HOUSE

Back in 1971, B-movie mogul Roger Corman sent veteran exploitation director Jack Hill (FOXY BROWN, SWITCHBLADE SISTERS) to the Philippines with fifty bucks, a script and a cast of attractive young women. What Hill returned with was BIG DOLL HOUSE, a genuine classic of the WIP genre and a huge hit for Corman's burgeoning New World Pictures.

Best remembered as Pam Grier's (COFFY, FOXY BROWN) breakout film, BIG DOLL HOUSE is a suitably nasty little exploitation effort, full of great B-movie personalities like WIP mainstay Roberta Collins (CAGED HEAT) and Sid Haig (SPIDER BABY, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS), plenty of shower scenes, brutal catfights and a bloody escape attempt from the Philippine jungle prison. Grier is tough and sexy as hell, and the movie possesses a sweltering grittiness – you can almost smell the actresses sweat. As a bonus, Pam Grier even performs the movie's theme song, "Hard Time Woman."

Buena Vista (Disney) has just re-issued BIG DOLL HOUSE is a new version that is essentially a straight re-packaging of the previous New Horizons release. The film is presented full-frame (1.33:1), and looks fairly good, although there is some minor print damage here and there. The sound is Dolby Mono. The meager extras include the original theatrical trailer, select cast biographies, and the recycled "Leonard Maltin Interview with Roger Corman" that appeared on the previous release.

I'm disappointed that Buena Vista didn't put more effort into the disc, but I recommend the movie highly to fans of the genre.

BUY: Big Doll House